Joe and I met in Manhattan at the Four Seasons Restaurant to help Veranda celebrate its 25th anniversary. When Lisa Newsom started that magazine as a brand new venture, Niermann Weeks was one of her original advertisers, so we were thrilled to party with the Veranda team and its groupies. Here’s the ad we placed those many years ago, showing off half of our enormous Forged Steel Dining Table. Satisfyingly enough, we got lots of orders from that ad. One lovely customer even ordered three of them to install in her covered patio in a Palm Beach mansion.
In Veranda’s March-April 2012 issue, we focused on the outdoor life again with this ad showing our garden furniture. We started selling these tables, chairs, screen, and accessories as early as 1982, and fortunately each year more gardens and patios need to use them.
So, anyway, back to the actual birthday party. This was my first trip to the Four Seasons restaurant, which is a modernist masterpiece of interior design located within the Seagram Building, an architectural superstar. Because I knew the place was super-special, I quickly looked it up in www.wikipedia.com, which said that The restaurant’s interior, which was designed by the building’s architects Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, has remained almost unchanged since construction in 1959. The restaurant was designated by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Committee as an interior landmark in 1989.
Entering the building, Joe and I walked up a flight of steps into the Bar and the Grill areas, then down a hall past a tapestry designed by Pablo Picasso into the main dining area, which Veranda had rented for the occasion. Al I can say is WOW! To me, much of modernism seems cold and uncomfortable, never, ever adjectives I’d use for this interior. Throughout the main areas, glass windows go floor to ceiling and are covered by swags of metal beaded curtains. A hidden fan keeps the waves softly undulating up to the ceiling, and warm pink lights shine upwards . Blooming cherry trees in raised pots further enhanced this warm ambiance, making everyone at the party look as beautiful as we could look. This interior is truly a feast for the eyes.
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, dressed herself as a cupcake to lead us all in singing Happy Birthday, and she gave all of us a pretty little cupcake of our very own to enjoy later.
Veranda’s second editor Dara Caponigro and second publisher Jennifer Levene Bruno mixed with us all and made sure we had a great bash. Thanks, you all!
Afterwards Joe took me to dinner in the Grill area, where the food was just as beautiful and scrumptious as you would expect. In addition, my eyes found a new object to fixate on, a wire sculpture by Richard Lippold that hangs over the Bar. The wires are all of the same material, just hung in clusters of different heights, so the look of the sculpture changed as we changed our positions in the room.
It was a privilege to enjoy this celebration in this setting, just as it has been a privilege to be a Veranda advertiser and groupie. It made me feel all grown up and important.
Thanks for reading my blog, and be well!